by Deanna Ting | October 22, 2013
Last week, Microsoft announced that it would begin selling gift cards for purchases of its digital content — apps, music, games, movies, etc. — in denominations of $15, $25, and $50. The new gift cards can currently be purchased from Amazon.com.

The new gift cards are meant to serve as replacements for Xbox Points virtual currency and can be used online at the Windows Store, the app store for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT, the Windows Phone Store, and the Xbox. 

Industry experts believe that gift cards have been a boost for Microsoft’s main competitor, Apple, which has generated an estimated $2 billion from gift cards — that represents a fourth of the $8.5 billion Apple earned in revenue from digital content sold through iTunes and other associated iOS and OSX app markets. 

The new Microsoft gift cards are available both in physical and digital formats. Digital cards are available for purchase now, and physical cards will be sold via retail beginning in November.